Botany Lesson from the Mandevilla Flower
WHAT? I know. I am not the flower type, nor do I have a green thumb, for some reason, I am very intrigued with this story I learned at a gathering in Saddleback with a focus group of AA 2nd gen leaders. That is another blog in itself.
This incident really caught my attention:
One of my AA brothers told of a gardening story. He had the urge to plant Madevilla flowers. As a person who knows nothing about it, I quickly grabbed my smart phone to google it. Apparently, it has this very sweet fragrance that attracts bugs of all kinds. These are the bugs you don’t want flying and crawling around in your garden. He continues his story by researching that you had to feed the flower some kind of special fertilizer that had an insecticide ingredient. Normally, I would have just CUT THE PLANT down and END OF STORY!
Or like smart people, you would buy some Insecticide spray at Home Depot, but this flower is sensitive, and it will kill the bug, and the flower.
Lesson 1: Interesting in John 15, Jesus said we must abide in Him, and you will bear much fruit. (Jn 15:5). I was thinking about this. Many Christians want to just spray off the bugs in their lives where it be – troubles, transgressions, or trials. But the bugs keep coming back and it causes the plant to be unhealthy. there is no quick solution to this, you need to be FED with the right diet. The flower takes in the fertilizer laced with some insecticide properties, and it travels through the veins to the flower, where the flower will release the sweet fragrance and the repellent to the insects. WOW! isnt that a cool fact?!
The story continues…
The Mandevilla Flower loves to CLIMB. It has vine climbing characteristics. Our friend continues to share that he planted the flower into the ground near a wall with a trellis, hoping it climbs up the wall. Well – after some time, IT WOULDN’T CLIMB! So google helped him again… apparently, the flower was exerting all its energy digging roots. You need to plant it in a specified pot to contain its roots, so then it can expend energy growing UPWARD and bear fruit.
Lesson 2: As you can see this is why I am blogging all this. This illustration is packed with symbolism of the Christian walk with God. Do we know of people who just love to read, study, read, study the Word of God, and yet has no growth or bears fruits? I find them all the time. They know so much (we call them egg heads), and there is no fruit. We need to have balance, or boundaries. The Madevilla Flower, if left unchecked, will focus on growing roots, but not on bearing fruit and climbing up – what it was designed to do. Where am I going — we are God’s workmanship designed for good work (Eph 2:10). Our over focus of scholasticism may cause us to grow the wrong way.
I hope this botany lesson has helped you. It’s helping me learn a little more of where I am and where God is inviting me to do at this moment . How about you?